Expressive Box Wall Hanging

Marie Weichman embellishes this clay box wall hanging with objects that reflect her creativity.

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Marie Weichman has been working with clay for about 20 years.

Materials and Tools:

stoneware and porcelain clay
porcelain slip with various color stains
crochet or lace fabric scrap
leaf template
roller
rusted iron pieces
water
dry metallic oxide glaze
needle tool
craft knife
found objects
box front and side templates
paintbrush
rolling pin
kiln

Steps:

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1. Roll out a slab of clay. Place the 4" x 4" box front template and the 3" x 4" side template on the clay slab and score around them. Reposition the templates and score around until you have two front pieces and ten sidepieces. Two of the sidepieces will be used for the back. Cut the measured squares from the clay using a craft knife. Allow the squares to partially dry to a "cheese hard" firmness.

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2. To join the sides to the expressive box front, bevel cut each edge using a knife, score the beveled edges using a needle tool and wet each edge with a paintbrush and water. Press the sidepieces onto the front smoothing the seams with your fingers. Support the joins by using thin coils as "welds" along the interior seams.

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Attach the back to each box by bevel cutting on three edges, scoring and wetting the edges and attaching the same way as the sides. Cut a rectangle hole for hanging in the center of the back piece.

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3. Roll over a leaf template into the clay to emboss the design onto the front of the box. Carve random designs into the clay using a needle tool.

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4. Decorate and design the surface. Place the two boxes together and place a scrap piece of lace or crochet fabric overlapping the two. Apply fluid slip with a brush over the fabric to create an expressive design. Remove the fabric.

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5. Create spontaneous compositions by painting on the wet slip. Allow the slip to set up to a semi-dry state, approximately 12 hours.

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6. Press found objects, such as rusted iron, into the soft clay and slip surface to leave an impression similar to embossing. Brush more slip over the clay.

7. Select three-dimensional clay objects to attach to the expressive box surface to finish off the composition. Set aside to dry for three days.

8. Fire the box in a kiln to 1850-degrees for 12 hours.

9. Apply desired glaze to the wall hanging box.

10. Fire the expressive box wall hanging in the kiln for 10 hours at 2380-degrees.

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